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Further Education reforms

Further Education reforms

17 December 2009

If you work in Further Education (FE) in England, or are thinking of diversifying into this sector, you may be aware of the FE reforms that came into place in 2007 to develop the workforce in this sector. The aim of the reforms is that all members of the FE workforce be qualified, or working towards qualification, by 2010. These reforms are explained in detail on the Lifelong Learning UK (LLUK) website but the key points are explained here.

Good News for ISTD Members Working in Further Education in England

The FE Teachers’ Qualifications Regulations (2007) England, implemented on 1st September 2007, require teachers, trainers and tutors in the FE sector to adhere to the following points:

  1. All teachers in the FE sector must register with the Institute for Learning, the professional body for teachers, trainers and tutors in the FE sector in England.
  2. All teachers must undertake a minimum of 30 hours CPD a year pro-rata.
  3. All new entrants to the FE sector must gain a licence to practise within five years.
  4. All existing teachers can elect to gain a licence to practise and have five years to do so if they should choose.

The reforms also introduced the concept of Licensed Practitioner Status, which is explained later in this article.

As part of the reforms, new qualifications based on new professional standards were developed by Lifelong Learning UK. These are as follows:

  • Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector (PTLLS) – an initial award;
  • Certificate for Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (CTLLS) – for the associate teacher role;
  • Diploma for Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (DTLLS) – for the full teacher role.

The roles mentioned above are based on your responsibilities as a teacher in FE and are defined as follows:

Status – Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) for the Full Teacher Role:
This is a teaching role that carries the full range of teaching responsibilities (whether on a full-time, part-time, fractional, fixed term, temporary or agency basis) and requires the teacher to demonstrate an extensive range of knowledge, understanding and application of curriculum development, curriculum innovation or curriculum delivery strategies.

Status – Associate Teacher Learning and Skills (ATLS) for the Associate Teacher Role:
This is a teaching role that carries significantly less than the full range of teaching responsibilities ordinarily carried out in a full teaching role (whether on a full-time, part-time, fractional, fixed term, temporary or agency basis) and does not require the teacher to demonstrate an extensive range of knowledge, understanding and application of curriculum development, curriculum innovation or curriculum delivery strategies. Associate teachers may also be those whose main job role is not teaching, but who do deliver learning to adults on a regular or more than an occasional basis.

Institute for Learning

What is Licensed Practitioner Status?
This is conferred by the Institute for Learning (IfL) for those who work as teachers in the FE sector. The two qualifying routes are Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills (QTLS) for the full teacher role and Associate Teacher Learning and Skills (ATLS) for the associate teacher role.

To apply for either route you need to hold the relevant qualification for your role or its equivalent e.g. an appropriate teaching qualification gained prior to September 2007 or Professional Recognition of your prior skills and experience. Teachers must further undergo a period of professional formation, which is reviewed by the IfL before a licence is granted. For further information on professional formation and Licensed Practitioner Status visit www.ifl.ac.uk.

Requirements to gain the new qualifications and the need to hold Licensed Practitioner Status are dependent on the qualifications already held and the date a teacher began work in the FE sector. For example, all those who began working in the sector prior to 1st September 2001 are exempt from completing the new qualifications or holding Licensed Practitioner Status, but must follow the CPD and professional registration requirements. A teacher who began teaching in FE Institutions between 1st September 2001 and 31st August 2007 will also need to follow the CPD and professional registration requirements and may or may not be required to complete the new qualifications or attain Licensed Practitioner Status depending on their prior teaching qualifications.

However, in addition to registering with IfL and meeting the CPD requirements, all teachers in the sector are strongly encouraged to gain Licensed Practitioner Status for their own benefit and that of their learners whether required to do so by regulations or not.

What does this mean to me?
As with the FDI and CDE, the route to gaining Licensed Practitioner Status has the accreditation of prior (experiential) learning built into it. The Tariff of Qualifications (Initial Teacher Training), developed and maintained by Standards Verification UK (SVUK), provides a guide to show how your present teaching qualifications map to the units of the new qualifications and can help ensure that those working towards the qualification required for the appropriate Licensed Practitioner Status begin their training at the relevant point without repeating any work they have already achieved.

For ISTD members who hold their CDE there is significant coverage of their qualification as shown on the Tariff at www.tariff.svuk.eu.

What do I do next?
This will depend on when you began working in the FE sector.

ISTD members who hold a CDE and began working in FE prior to 1st September 2007
You must follow the CPD and professional registration requirements of the reforms but do not need to gain Licensed Practitioner Status (LPS) (unless you are required to do so by the terms of your employment). However, should you wish to gain this status you have the following options;

Associate Teacher – ATLS status
You have completed the CDE, and therefore have full coverage of the mandatory units of CTLLS. Therefore, you only need to complete the other requirements of LPS, such as Professional Formation, before status can be conferred. Contact the IfL helpline for further details.

Full Teacher – QTLS status
You have completed the CDE, and therefore have full coverage of two of the mandatory units of DTLLS. You need to discuss your case, including all your prior qualifications and experience, with the IfL advice line as a personal application. They may advise you that with additional top-up through CPD, and after completing the other requirements of LPS, such as Professional Formation, status can be conferred. However, they may also find it is not feasible to top-up your prior qualifications and experience with CPD. In this case you may be awarded Associate status and have two routes you can choose to follow:

Route 1 – Qualification
If you wish to follow the qualification route you will have five years to complete the DTLLS qualification. In this case you should advise the institution you study with of your CDE and its coverage under the Tariff so that it can be taken into account, along with other prior qualifications and experience, as part of the AP(E)L process.

Route 2 – General Professional Recognition Learning and Skills
This route is open to competent and experienced teachers for whom undertaking an initial teacher training qualification would be inappropriate. To follow this option you will need to supply details of: your career history, CPD in teaching and learning, a CV and current job description as well as completing several written tasks drawing on your pedagogic and dance specialist skills, knowledge and experience. You will also be required to provide two signed references on headed paper in support of your application. This route is administered by SVUK and further details can be found on their website: www.svuk.eu/2927.htm or by contacting the LLUK advice line.

ISTD members who hold a CDE and began working in FE post 1st September 2007
You will need to gain a licence to practice within five years of starting work in the FE sector and will need to adhere to all of the reforms’ requirements. With regards the qualification part of this you have two options:

AP(E)L
When discussing study for the PTLLS, CTLLS or DTLLS with your selected institution, you should advise them of your CDE and its coverage under the Tariff so that it can be taken into account, along with other prior qualifications and experience, as part of the AP(E)L process.

General Professional Recognition Learning and Skills
See details listed in previous section under Route 2.

Sandie Gay, manager of the Tariff database for Standards Verification UK, said: “We are delighted to have provided this service for ISTD members who may already be teaching in further education or may be thinking of entering the sector. The Tariff guidance should help ensure that no one is required to spend time retraining for teaching skills they already possess and make the journey to licensed practitioner status less onerous”.

Important Information

LSC Funding
This article has been written for those who work in the FE sector or are thinking of doing so. Please be aware, the FE Teachers’ Qualifications Regulations (2007) England reforms also apply to some teachers, trainers and tutors who work on LSC-funded contracted provision outside of what is generally referred to as FE Institutions (such as FE colleges, Sixth Form colleges and Specialist colleges).
In this instance you should contact your employer or the IfL advice line to advise on your particular situation.

Additional Requirements
Two areas the Tariff process does not map are that of any optional units or teaching practice (including the requirement for assessed teaching observations where relevant). This means that these areas will be addressed by awarding institutions or other relevant body that awards the PTLLS, CTLLS and DTLLS where relevant.

Further information
For further information about the reforms and qualifications, please see the LLUK website: www.lluk.org.

If you would like further information on how the reforms affect you, please see the table Qualifications for Teachers, Tutors, Trainers, Lecturers and Instructors in the FE Sector in England, which can be found at:

www.lluk.org/documents/lluk_few_summary_sheet_oct07.pdf. This document is also available in an interactive format at www.emcett.com/qualifications/index.html. Alternatively, LLUK have an information and advice service offering individual advice for practitioners on 020 7936 5798 or via email at advice@lluk.org.

For advice on professional formation or personal applications for status, see the Institute for Learning’s website: www.ifl.ac.uk or call on 0844 815 3202.

For further information regarding the Tariff of Qualifications, see the SVUK website; www.tariff.svuk.eu.

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